Choose Civility — As Long as You
Agree With Me
I am not sure American politics have progressed much since the 1700s. We read stories of our early legislators hitting each other over the head, calling each other names, and in general, behaving in a very uncivilized manner. Fast forward 400 years, and it seems a lot the same.
Perhaps the actual bumps on the heads are less, but the anger and the venom seem to be worse. And, with 24/7 media coverage, we get ring-side seats. Is it really any surprise that our citizens emulate the behavior of those in leadership positions? Shouldn’t our leaders be the ones demonstating maturity, compromise and tolerance? I don’t see it.
Trust me, this is a nonpartisan opinion. I am pointing fingers in all directions, or should that be in both directions? One party is no better than the other, although they would have you believe they are. I see the same school yard antics on both sides of the aisle — and at the federal, state, and sadly, sometimes even local levels.
I am concerned that, with elections being only 17 months away, we need to prepare to hang onto our seats. Buckle the seatbelts, I am sure we are in for another ugly campaign. Of course, we aren’t past the one six months ago, but can it get any worse? It’s pretty scary.
Checks and Balances
I believe our forefathers incorporated a good number of checks and balances, but in our crafty way, we seem to have found our way around many of them. One of the most egregious I see is lawmakers making laws that benefit themselves — especially at the expense of the people whom they were elected to represent.
Of course, the first things that come to mind at the federal level are health care, retirement benefits, etc. As an employer, I am required, by law, to provide the same benefits to my employees that I receive. Note, by law. Somehow, that doesn’t seem to apply to our legislators. Hmmmmm …
One of the the recent controversaries at the state level is gerrymandering. For me, it is cheating, plain and simple. That may sound naïve, but that is exactly what it is — all to be sure that the outcome slants in a particular direction. No consideration is given to what is best for the people, but only what is best for the party.
I suppose you can make the argument that what is best for the party is best for the people, but that seems delusional. Personally, and note this is an opinion piece, I believe anything that benefits a politician or a party should not be decided — nor directed — by a politician or a political party.
A friend just told me she was called to take a survey regarding candidates running for office. The question, about a variety of campaign statements, was, “Does this seem believeable to you?” She answered “no” to all questions and said, “I don’t believe statements made only to put the candidate in as positive of a light as possible.” Sad commentary, but I agree — when on the campaign trail or in front of a camera, I take things with lots of grains of salt.
While I am at it, I also believe there should be term limits. And if not term limits, then position limits. Someone should not be speaker of the House or president of the Senate for decades. That’s too much power for too long for any politician.
I am truly concerned about the hateful words and behavior that is coming from the leaders of our country, our state and even down home. I expect better. I taught my children better. And I don’t believe I should be expected to accept less.
Of course, this could just be me, although I don’t think so. Thanks for letting me rant, at least this one time. Hopefully, it was in a civilized and respectful manner.